According to US President Donald Trump, his decision to introduce higher import tariffs for cars is based on achieving or not a trade agreement with the EU.
His government is reviewing new sanctions, Trump confirmed to the White House as a prelude to a meeting with Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz. The federal government wants to negotiate with the United States.
"This is the right way from our point of view," government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday in Berlin. He referred to the ongoing talks between the European Commission and the United States on trade issues.
Minister of Economics Altmeier has already warned against one commercial warThis must be avoided, he said Tuesday – but he added: "This does not mean that we should not be ready to defend our interests if we are unfairly pressured".
Donald Trump deals with punitive tariffs
It was a report on orders in which the result had already been established. And before Wilbur Ross, whose successor had already happened, leaves the US Commerce Department summit, the billionaire became the president of the United States Donald Trump Shipped in time: car imports and auto parts imports, which reached $ 340 billion in 2017, are threatening US national security.
This fundamental attestation of the unpublished report, to which the diplomats and economic circles in Washington anonymously attest, has aroused alarm, especially in Europe.
Donald Trump has until May
Based on a law that is more than 50 years old, it gives the president, a critic of globalization, the impetus to impose punitive tariffs on foreign producers analogous to the steel and aluminum industries. Europe against the United States: these are the six biggest problems.
In the conversation it is between 20 and 25 percent. According to the Ifo Institute of Monaco, the main victims would be German companies, from VW to BMW. Their exports to the United States could be reduced by half, said Ifo Gabriel Felbermayr expert.
Trump has time until the beginning of May for the decision. According to government circles, he has not yet committed. The trade war with China, where it serves much more, is currently absorbing "almost all the forces".
Ross's preparatory work served as a sort of "reserve decision" and "leverage" to "prevent the EU from calming down" as Trump pushed for a commercial reorganization, said a family member of the EU diplomat with the White House discussions,
The EU would react with its own customs duties
Seibert said the federal government has not yet received the contents of the US Department of Commerce's investigation. If Americans introduce these rates, this will be analyzed very carefully in the EU. In general, trade barriers have negative consequences for the economies.
Even the trade conflict between the United States and China has left "shaky signs" in the German and European economy, said the CDU politician Altmeier after a meeting with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Berlin.
Le Maire said that international trade must follow rules that are valid for everyone. "We will not negotiate on the basis of threats". The EU must act together in the trade dispute. In a "commercial war" there will only be losers.
The question now is whether a serious trade war between the United States and the European Union is imminent. The EU is openly threatened with retaliatory tariffs on American products,
it should be US President Donald Trump
Imposing punitive tariffs on European cars: "We are able to react immediately and appropriately," said a spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels.
The Commission has been preparing for months for any retaliation, stating that the work is "very advanced", the officials involved said.
"If Trump is serious, we will fight". Rates are discussed, among other things, on American cars, but also on selected agricultural products.
It could be said that initially US products worth about 20 billion euros are to be sold. The exact list will be presented in consultation with EU Member States only if the US government will effectively impose higher import duties.
For the time being, however, the European Commission wants to negotiate
The European Commission had already warned Washington that it would consider punitive tariffs as a violation of international law and make a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WHO).
And: the ongoing negotiations between Brussels and Washington on a trade agreement to lower industrial tariffs would therefore be suspended; In any case, the success of these talks is considered increasingly improbable.
For the time being, however, the European Commission is waiting for negotiations, as a spokesperson explained. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker relies on Trump's words, the spokesperson added. Both had organized trade negotiations in July 2018, agreeing that no new tariffs or higher tariffs would be introduced during the negotiations.
Chancellor Angela Merkel defeated Trump in Munich
The president is a double-track guide. During a visit by German car chiefs to Washington in December, Trump was impressed by the commitment of VW, BMW and Daimler to invest further three-figure sums in millions of manufacturing sites in the United States. But he did not remove the threat of punitive tariffs.
This is also the reason why Chancellor Angela Merkel went on the offensive in her speech at the Munich Security Conference this weekend. He pointed out that many German companies have cars manufactured in the United States. For example, BMW maintains its largest factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
10,000 people work there. "If those machines built in South Carolina are suddenly a threat to the national security of the United States," said the Chancellor, receiving plaudits in the presence of presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, "then this scares us."
German producers have created 113,000 jobs
Merkel promoted further negotiations, as agreed at a higher level between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Trump. With the addition that during the talks a truce prevails.
This means: no punitive tariff of the Americans, And no measure of retaliation by the Europeans. The ambassador of Washington, David O & Sullivan, said last week that he believes the agreement is in place. Otherwise the whole process would be "seriously endangered".
The background for the admission of Merkel
provides the Automotive Industry Association (VDA). According to the VDA, German manufacturers have created more than 113,000 jobs in about 300 factories in the United States in recent years. "This reinforces the United States and is not a security problem".
This basic evaluation is going to the White House – Trump's sales representative Robert Lighthizer is an adversary of widely-distributed punitive car fares. Although the Fiscal Foundation believes that punitive tariffs increase the tax revenue for the Treasury by about $ 73 billion.
The Ann Arbor / Michigan Automotive Research Center disputes that every new car in the United States would cost about $ 3,700 more. Vice President Kirsten Dziczek predicts a 1.3 million decline in car sales each year if Trump effectively imposes punitive charges.
Reference point: 17.2 million cars were sold in the United States in 2017. Over half (52%) was manufactured in America. The rest is distributed over Mexico (14%), Canada (11), Japan (10), South Korea (5), Germany (3) and other countries (5).
Especially from the Republicans who blew Trump's wind in the face
In Detroit Detroit, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler say that punitive tariffs on foreign producers are "counterproductive for the whole business". Cody Lusk, president of the American International Merchant Association, goes further: "Nobody asked him.
Lusk refers to devastating numbers of various institutionsBased on this, Trump's penalty plan would cost operators around $ 65 billion a year in revenue, putting at risk around 120,000 jobs. Overall, around 400,000 jobs in the automotive industry are at risk.
Especially in his Republican party, Trump blows the wind in the face. Punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum have already led to anger. Therefore, the extent of Trump's action in punitive actions should be limited.
According to a bill by Republican Toomey and Democrat Warner, in the future the Congress will have 60 days to speak for the last word after a decision by the President.
The influential Iowa Conservative Senator, Chuck Grassley, said: "We should not incriminate our allies with tariffs declared as national safeguards, let alone when it comes to cars and car parts".